Awaken to the New Mexico Wilderness

Southern NM day 2 036.jpg

Leaving Lordsburg, I walked about four miles on the Highway (70) and then slipped (literally) under a fence to begin searching for signs indicating the CDT. The terrain was rough initially, everything low, prickly and barbed.

Water was troublesome from the beginning. The best sources have been the windmill-fed farm tanks. The water certainly doesn’t look tantalizing, but the tanks are often full. One source was so low, though, that I was forced to cut one of my bottle to make a scoop.

Towards Silver City - Day 1 031.jpg

Alongside this challenge, I had to acknowledge that I was consistently falling short of my goal of covering fifteen miles a day. This proved particularly difficult as the route took me into the mountains, although this area was also the most clearly marked section of the trail I’d yet encountered. You come out finally in a park area with a sign warning of “Bear Country”. I crossed the highway twice in this area. Did some rough camping on rocky high ground, too tired by then to search for a better spot and the light was ebbing.

That night I decided to turn around. I had by that point encountered three water spots that were bone dry, and things were beginning to feel dire. The CDT in general seems much more geared for spring hikers going northbound. There was no trail magic here for me, and even many of the water spots indicated on the map were not viable. The few days I spent out there were well worth it, though.

Towards Silver City - Day 1 025.jpg